Mival “Mivalino 175”, 1956.
In the early ‘50s the so-called micro cars had a large diffusion in Europe. These were curious little cars with three or four wheels and able to carry two people and their luggage. They usually were fitted with a motorcycle engine and therefore, to many people, they represented the first means of transport after the motorcycle.
As the Italian Isetta was manufactured abroad under licence (i.e. in Germany by BMW), even cars designed abroad were then produced in Italy under licence.
It was the case of this little car that the Mival of Gardone Valtrompia started producing from 1953 under licence of the German Messerschmitt, the famous aircrafts manufacturer which after the war converted its production to popular cars.
The KR 175 and later 200 (or Mivalina, as called in Italy) showed the feature of the two-seats in tandem: the transparent roof made the little car look like a fighter airplane cockpit.
Also on display at the Museo Nicolis is a red Acqua scooter – Delfino – Mival, with a 30cc 2-stroke water-jet engine, produced in the 1960s. It allowed one person to be towed in sea or lake water. It was driven with a lever throttle. Starting was by using a hand crank.
Dolphin source Monte Club Vizzolo
The cleverness of the Mival brand does not stop there, however. The inventiveness of the Gardone designers created a means of moving around in the water: the ‘Delfino‘. A real jewel, a water kart, or rather a watercraft powered by a two-stroke engine that, thanks to the buoyancy imposed on the water, makes it possible to move around in the sea or lake without swimming, even at 12 mph and without the risk of a rotating propeller. An ingenious device, which, if it accidentally slipped out of the hand of the driver, began to turn in circles, thus remaining within easy reach. The starter was a hand crank, which wound a spring on the flywheel that once released generated the impulse to start the single-cylinder engine. The ‘Dolphin’ was an ingenious object for divers, as it could carry oxygen cylinders, a tool for sea rescue and a thousand other possible uses in the water. It was a pity that the 10% fuel mixture generated the release of unburnt oil and other waste products that made the vehicle polluting. Despite this, the design was truly ingenious, so much so that ‘Mi-Val’ sold the licence to Canada, where the ‘Dolphin’ was produced for a few years before disappearing from the commercial scene for good.